Amazon has frozen hiring across its entire corporate workforce as it navigates a shaky economy that is forcing tech companies to cut costs.
“With the economy in an uncertain state and in light of how many people we have hired in the last few years,” Amazon HR leader Beth Galetti wrote in a memo to employees Thursday.
“We had already done so in a few of our businesses in recent weeks, and we have added our other businesses to this approach,” she continued. We expect to keep this pause in place for the next few months, and we will continue to monitor what we see in the economy and business to adjust as necessary.”
Galetti stated that the company will backfill positions to replace departing employees and hire people incrementally in “some targeted places.”
Amazon announced last month that it was limiting recruiting in its retail division.
Last week, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts that the company was preparing for “what could be a slower growth period” due to increased foreign currency headwinds, global inflation, higher fuel prices, and rising energy costs.
During the pandemic, Amazon went on a hiring spree to help meet demand as more people shopped online.
However, the company’s headcount increased by only 21,000 employees during the third quarter. This compares to an additional 133,000 workers in the previous quarter and 248,500 in the third quarter of 2020.
Amazon now employs 1.54 million people directly. In the Seattle area, it employs 75,000 people, including warehouse workers.
The Seattle-based tech behemoth’s stock dropped nearly 20% last week after issuing lower-than-expected guidance for the holiday quarter.
Amazon joins a long list of companies that have reduced or eliminated hiring during the economic downturn. This week, layoffs were reported at Lyft, Opendoor, and Stripe.
In addition to a hiring freeze, Amazon is laying off employees, closing down divisions, and discontinuing goods, while continuing to spend on large acquisitions.